KZVK, Schroders, Union Investment, NN IP, Value Partners Group, Capital Cranfield, ITS, AXA IM

KZVK – The German provider of occupational pensions for employees of the Catholic Church and charitable sectors, Kirchliche Zusatzversorgungskasse des Verbandes der Diözesen Deutschlands (KZVK), is looking to appoint a portfolio manager for alternative investments.

The new hire would use their knowledge for investment decisions in private equity, infrastructure equity and private debt, conduct due diligence of new funds, while taking responsibility for existing investments by actively supporting General Partners (GPs) and taking on advisory board mandates.

The candidate should hold a degree in economics with a focus on finance/capital markets, be able to assess risk/return profiles appropriately, be open to interesting investments and ideally have professional experience in the field of private markets in order to take over the role.

Schroders Capital Real Estate – Rebecca Gates has been appointed head of UK asset managementat the firm. In this newly-created role, Gates is responsible for overseeing asset management across all direct UK portfolios, reporting to Nick Montgomery, head of UK investment.

Gates will be focused on the asset management of funds including the Schroders Capital UK Real Estate Fund and Schroder Real Estate Investment Trusts, as well as new client portfolios such as the £700m Greater Manchester portfolio.

She will also oversee the onboarding of the Scottish Widows direct real estate portfolios that total £3.5bn. As a result, the UK team will directly manage over 300 assets (excluding residential holdings) and over 2,000 tenants, with a value of approximately £8bn. Gates was formerly head of UK asset management at LaSalle Investment Management where she was also a member of the UK investment committee and UK management board.

The appointment follows multiple recent hires in both London and Schroders Capital’s new office in Manchester, with further new hires planned.

Union Investment – Sandra Hofer will lead Union Investment’s international business with institutional clients from 1 May. In her new role, Hofer will be responsible for covering markets including the UK and a number of Asian countries on top of selected markets in continental Europe.

Hofer will continue to serve as managing director of Union Investment Austria. She has been in charge of the country’s institutional business since November 2015. In the future Hofer will take over responsibility for the acquisition and support of institutional customers internationally, sales management and the design of tailor-made investor solutions, covering the role of Astrid Joost-van der Spek who will leave Union Investment.

AXA Investment ManagersHéloïse Courault has joined the asset manager as senior corporate governance and stewardship analyst. Based in Paris, she joins AXA IM from SquareWell Partners where she was most recently co-head of ESG Research. She is a member of the global governance committee of the International Corporate Governance Network.

Alexandre Prost has joined as senior corporate governance and stewardship analyst from HS Markit, while Constance Caillet has been appointed corporate governance and stewardship analyst, based in London.

They report to Clémence Humeau, head of RI coordination and governance.

Value Partners Group – David Townsend has joined the group as managing director, EMEA business, effective 21 April 2022. He is responsible for leading Value Partners’ engagement with institutional investors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He will also take responsibility for the group’s coverage of international wholesale distribution partners across the EMEA region.

Based in London, Townsend reports to the group’s president, June Wong.

Townsend has extensive experience in the investment management and financial industry. Most recently, he was advising Alderwood Capital as the head of investor relations. Before joining Alderwood Capital, he served as head of EMEA institutional at First Eagle Investment Management, in charge of the firm’s London office. Prior to that, he served as managing director, head of EMEA and global consultant relations at Martin Currie Investment Management. He was also head of UK institutional sales at AXA Investment Managers UK and at Framlington Investment Management. He started his career at Fidelity.

NN Investment Partners – NN IP, the asset manager taken over by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, has appointed Roel van Broekhuizen as portfolio manager for its green bonds strategies. the firm now manages €5bn across green bond strategies and mandates and expects the green, social and sustainability (GSS) bond market to grow to a total of €1.1trn in 2022.

Van Broekhuizen joined NN IP in 2020 and rotated throughout different teams at the firm, including the green bonds team.

Capital Cranfield – The UK professional trustee firm has announced that Harus Rai will succeed Neil McPherson as managing director. Rai, the firm’s current head of sole trusteeship, will assume his new role on 1 June, when McPherson retires.

Chair Martin Jones said: “We are delighted to be able to promote from within. During his five years with us, and throughout our rigorous recruitment search, Harus has demonstrated the vision and energy that we seek to drive the business forward. We are all looking forward to working with him in his new role.”

Independent Trustee Services (ITS) – The firm has appointed Jas Morris to the role of sales and marketing manager as the company continues to deliver on its ambitious growth plans.

Morris has worked in the pensions industry for 17 years managing sales and bids for opportunities across a variety of sectors and pensions service lines. She joins ITS from Capita Pension Solutions where she was head of bid management.

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